New baby has taken to waking me up at 3 am with a sharp kick to the bladder. Once I get back from the bathroom and back into bed (dear mommy & me fitness leader: thank you for scaring the crap out of me about pelvic floor health so my bed is still warm AND dry), I can’t get back to sleep. After Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, I really should just switch over to Netflix, but my thumb always manages to click Pinterest on the way, and before long, I find myself getting mad at the sanctimonious pregnancy, labour and parenting blog posts that claim to tell you “all the lies your doctor tells you because of Big Pharma” or “why having a completely natural birth will be your best gift to your baby” or “how to be the smug mom on the playground whose kid sleeps through the night at 10 weeks”
I can remember reading some of these posts the first time around when I was pregnant with Charlotte. Some met with derision (seriously, guys, is drinking that putrid sugar elixir ONCE going to do THAT MUCH MORE damage than having an unchecked health condition?), some I foolishly believed (and then felt guilty for months that my child would be marred for life because I finally accepted an epidural) and some I examined with a inquisitive yet critical eye, making mental notes but mostly wondering how much was written through rose coloured glasses.
And this time around? I know they’re all bunk. I’m going to drink the putrid sugar elixir (but still complain about it because, ya, it’s probably not the healthiest thing you can put in your body). I’m going to see how long I can labour without medical pain management (but not at the expense of my sanity this time, thank you very much). And I know that regardless of whether you let your kid sleep on you for the first six weeks, or immediately sleep train them from day one, there will be nights they sleep through the night, and there will be nights that they wake up a million and one times because kids are kids, not robots.
Every once and a while, my logical side takes hold, forces me to go to sleep and, if I remember, start fact checking some articles the next morning. Only once have I found an article that referenced an actual peer reviewed study in a reputable scholarly journal (eating 6 dates a day for the four weeks prior to your due date will increase cervival dilation in early stages of labour, and shorten the time from when contractions start to the point when you reach transition).
And the rest? They’re based in anecdotes, hearsay and, to a degree, old wives tales. I’ve scrolled through the comment section and found that in the majority of cases, those lauding the author for her bravery to take on the medical system, her martyrdom for standing up for the cause, her selflessness in praising herself for how good of a job she is doing raising her kids, were mostly mothers who had yet to birth their first child. That’s not to say that there aren’t mothers with air breathing children out there who would agree with some or all of the points in the post. That’s not to say that all the mothers with air breathing children are commenting their disagreement.
It mostly just seems like these mothers of air breathing children are out their raising these children to the best of their ability and recognizing “hey, maybe it’s not all as easy, as black and white, as foolproof as I thought it would be, but whatever choices I made in pregnancy, in delivery and in raising this child couldn’t have been that terrible if this kid isn’t always completely driving me nuts”
And to me, that’s a sign of a parent doing something right.